HomeSAILINGAlla Grande PIRELLI take first place in Class40 in the Transat Jacques...

Alla Grande PIRELLI take first place in Class40 in the Transat Jacques Vabre

Ambrogio Beccaria and Nicolas Andrieu on Alla Grande PIRELLI take first place in Class40 in the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre

Italian skipper Ambrogio Beccaria and French co-skipper Nicolas Andrieu sailing the all Italian Musa 40 Alla Grande PIRELLI took first place in the highly competitive Class40 race on the 16th Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre two handed race when they crossed the finish line off Fort-de-France, Martinique in beautiful morning sunshine at 08:01:36 hrs local time (12:01:36 hrs UTC).

The elapsed time for the 4045 mile course is 18 days 12 hours 21 minutes and 55 seconds. In a record sized fleet of 44 boats which started from Le Havre on 29 October but paused in Lorient for seven days to sit out a huge storm on the Bay of Biscay, Beccaria and Andrieu were also first to complete the stage to Lorient.

Beccaria, who is a naval architect and Andrieu who is an aeronautical engineer who is director of R & D with Beyou Racing have led for much of the race, largely except for when a group broke to the north a week ago, but the Italian-French duo stuck to their guns and have prevailed. The second placed boat was around 50 miles behind as Alla Grande PIRELLI was crossing the Bay of Fort de France heading for victory.

Beccaria’s biggest success in Class 40 was finishing second behind Yoann Richomme on last year’s Route du Rhum, but this season he and Andrieu won the Normandy Channel Race, the Malouine Lamotte and he was second on the Défi Atlantique race from Guadeloupe to La Rochelle via the Azores, sailing with Alberto Riva and the co-designer of his boat Gianluca Guelfi.

From a non-sailing Milanese family, Beccaria really took to sailing on family holidays in Sardinia and really took to racing when he got a Laser 4000 for his 18th birthday, going on to become national champion. As a young trainee naval engineer he rescued and rebuilt a Pogo 2 which he raced the Mini Transat on before finishing third overall in the 2019 race in the whole fleet on a standard Pogo 3, winning both legs the production boat division.

When studying at La Spezia he met up with Guelfi and they became firm friends. When he decided to campaign in Class 40 he called on his friend and they built at Eduardo Bianchi’s new facility in Genoa.

Down to earth Beccaria, 32, is intent on demystifying and normalising solo and short hand ocean racing. He is renowned for a typical passion for risotto and carries a pressure cooker on Alla Grande Pirelli. When times get tough or an opportunity arises, he his well known for conjuring up his favourite dish.

Their race time was 18 days 12 hours 21 minutes 55 seconds. The duo sailed the theoretical 4045 miles between Le Havre and Fort-de-France at an average speed of 9.1 knots. Out on the water, they actually sailed 5381.51 miles averaging 12.11 knots. 

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